The words dance back and forth in Tamaki’s head. It sounds absurd. Surely they would have heard something about this before, on the national news, or on the internet. Somewhere.
Governments everywhere don’t want the people to worry, Kyouya had claimed with a serious tone and dark, frightened eyes. It’s coming too fast for them to do anything about it and panic would help no one.
So they just lie? Tamaki had asked, with wide eyes and betrayal pouring over him.
Governments lie all the time. Kyouya had shrugged, all dismissively, and then gave Tamaki a queer look. Twenty four hours left to live. What are you going to do with that time?
He hadn’t had an answer. He’d fled from Kyouya in horror, unwilling to even contemplate such a terrible future. Everything, everyone, gone. In the blink of an eye. Nothing would be left but dust. Nothing would survive. Like what killed the dinosaurs.
Twenty-four hours. No, now he has less than ten. Tamaki had tried to resist sleeping, but a few hours nap had taken him by surprise. He had even less time than he thought.
So much left to do, so little time.
He wishes he could see his mother again. He wishes he could make his grandmother understand, but there’s simply not enough words.
It’s not fair, he thinks. There’s so much potential, so many things he had hoped to see and accomplish.
He wants to see what Haruhi will make of herself. He wants to see the twins open up to someone else. He wants to see Mori-senpai stand on his own two feet, and Hunny-senpai finally get along with his brother. And he wants to see Kyouya finally get everything he’s fighting for, prove to his father who the real successor should be.
Tamaki wants a lot more than that, too.
He’s been waiting. For what? The perfect time? The perfect place? For the feelings to go away? He’s not sure. It can’t be normal, to want these things, no matter what games Kaoru and Hikaru play. It just can’t.
He’s not supposed to look at his best friend and imagine what it would be like to kiss him. Kyouya’s so confident, self-assured, certain of everything. He seems to know everything about everyone. He probably knows all the perfect places to touch, all the best ways to kiss.
No. Bad Tamaki.
But time is short.
Confession has always been on the distant edge of Tamaki’s mind. Shoved there, as far from action as he can possibly keep it. He never intended to act on his crush, never intended to so much as hint to Kyouya that he wanted more. It was safer, better, smarter just to pretend and keep on acting out a ruse.
He thought he had all the years in the world. But not, it seems, anymore.
Tamaki gnaws on his bottom lip, wringing his hands together indecisively as he waits.
Kyouya might laugh at him, might even hit him. This isn’t normal. But if they’re all going to die soon what does that humiliation matter?
“Tamaki? What are you doing here?” Kyouya doesn’t really sound surprised, more casual really, as he strolls into the room.
Tamaki stares, his brain stuttering and completely forgetting all of his carefully planned speech. “Only a few hours left, right?” he jokes weekly, and runs a nervous hand through his hair. He probably looks like a wreck but he’s been running around like crazy trying to figure out what to do.
Kyouya gives him a strange look, coming closer. “I would have thought you’d be trying to fly to France.”
“Not enough time,” Tamaki admits. “And there’s something else I wanted to say. Or do.” Nope, it’s not getting any easier. And he’s starting to sound like a moron.
Kyouya arches an eyebrow. “Oh?”
Tamaki hesitates, looks at his best friend, and courage wars with fear wars with the constant reminder that there’s not enough time.
He can’t say that what he does next is really planned. It’s pretty much a spontaneous action he doesn’t think about.
He grabs Kyouya by the shoulders and kisses him, pressing their lips together without so much as a prelude, a request, or an invitation. Kyouya makes a startled sound into the kiss, but he doesn’t pull away. Perhaps he’s too surprised.
Tamaki keeps the kiss chaste and draws back, though his hands refuse to let go of Kyouya’s shoulders. To keep Kyouya from punching him perhaps. He peeks at Kyouya, a bit hesitant, and is alarmed by the slow smile curving his best friend’s lips.
The smile of the shadow king really.
“Well then,” Kyouya says, tilting his head. “Took you long enough.”
Tamaki’s jaw drops. “… What?”
Kyouya’s smile widens. “And it only took the threat of the end of the world for you to notice.”
Tamaki doesn’t really get where Kyouya’s going with this. “You mean, you’ve…?”
“–been waiting for you to realize your own feelings, yes. But I was getting impatient.” Kyouya’s eyes flash, his hands resting on Tamaki’s waist. “I had to do something.”
A clash of emotions bombard Tamaki. Surprise. Horror. Betrayal. Disbelief. Relief. Joy. He can’t untangle them, but what he can do is take a jerking step back, his hands snapping away from Kyouya and dislodging his best friend’s grip.
“You… lied?” He doesn’t know why he’s surprised. Kyouya likes to manipulate people. He does it all the time.
Why should Tamaki be different or special? Was he arrogant in thinking he actually was?
Kyouya’s smile starts to melt away. “I did what I had to do.” He arches a brow. “You didn’t really think we were about to get pummeled by an asteroid, did you?”
But he had.
Tamaki takes another step backward, his face twisting with what he can only describe as hurt. That’s just… cruel.
Again, Tamaki is struck without words. He feels betrayed, his honest affection twisted now. He can’t do this.
He works his jaw, swallows thickly. No.
He turns on a heel and runs, knowing by rote the quickest route to the front door and his waiting limousine. Kyouya shouts his name, but Tamaki ignores him, ignores his sister, ignores the staring servants.
He flees to the limousine and chokes out a request to go home and buries his face in his hands. He’s not crying, but he is shaking.
The world’s not going to end, but for some reason, it feels like it already has.